GENEVA, Switzerland, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A U.N. rights expert announced plans for a fact-finding mission to Sudan at the invitation of the central government in Khartoum.
Mashood Adebayo Baderin, acting as an independent rights expert for the United Nations, said he planned to visit Khartoum and Darfur starting Sunday.
"During my eight-day mission, I will focus primarily on assessing and verifying the situation of human rights in the Sudan in order to determine the technical assistance and capacity building needs of the Sudanese government," he said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Edmond Mulet, U.N. assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, told the U.N. Security Council that the Sudanese government and a rebel faction of the Justice and Equality Movement have agreed to the preliminary agenda for peace talks.
The United Nations estimates that tribal fighting in the Sudanese region of Darfur left as many as 100 people dead and two dozen villages destroyed in early January.
The International Criminal Court in 2009 issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on war crimes charges in Darfur. The United Nations estimates that at least 300,000 people have died since 2003 as a result of fighting between rebel forces and the government-backed Janjaweed militia.